Time-wasting emergency drills, please make your way to the exit

Betteena Marco/HIGHLANDER
Betteena Marco/HIGHLANDER

Don’t we all just hate inconveniences? Forgetting your laptop on your way to lecture and having to double back to get it. Someone letting their six friends cut right in front of you in line at Subway. And the cruelest and most demeaning of inconveniences: The quarterly, unannounced, fire drill.

Why for the love of Scotty must we endure this cruel exercise made for children?

I’ll tell you where I was during the fire drill last Friday, Oct. 21 in AI: I was sleeping. Sleeping is the wrong word; more like trying to sleep because the AI fire alarm screeches like a siren beset on ruining the sweetness of sleep. Why? Why for the love of Scotty must we endure this cruel exercise made for children?

The purpose of emergency drills is to instruct children on how to properly react in a life-threatening situation. I’ve got no problem with teaching kids to save their own lives, but we are adults. We are attending a prestigious institution with the intent to learn and yet we are forced to participate, cross-armed and grumbling. Because we all graduated high school, we all know how these emergency drills work: Swiftly evacuate the building and make sure not to cause a panic.

Being Californians, we already have experience in ducking and covering for earthquake drills, walking in an orderly line toward the big, glowing, red fluorescent, “Exit” sign and gathering in an open and safe area, so why are we still ordered to do this? The professor or the unmistakable “Emergency Exit” sign will tell you where the emergency exit is and that will be that. Time used to conduct emergency drills could be better used more productively for studying and resting.

In addition, if you’re blessed to have amazing resident advisors (RA) and project coordinators (PC), you’ll already have been instructed on how to safely exit the dorms, the HUB and the campus as a whole in case of any disastrous event to befall UCR. RA’s and PC’s really care about the students they’re looking out for because it’s their job to make sure everything flows well in the halls. Thus, many of us have already had specific training for emergencies at UCR, and don’t need another drill to waste our time.

With all that taken into consideration, how can no one see the big, glowing, red or green sign saying, “Exit?” It’s incredibly difficult to contest the fact that emergency exit signs are easy to see.  This means that it is amazingly easy to find the emergency escape route to exit the buildings in UCR, so a separate drill is wholly unnecessary. But this ease of escape is also in part due to the more modern and minimalistic layouts that UCR buildings have in comparison to traditional high school buildings.

UCR has very up-to-date buildings with modern layouts easily traversable and quick to memorize. These up-to-date layouts provide an easy way to maneuver through the buildings during any emergency. There is no unnecessary structure or dumbfoundingly long corridors to prolong escape from a dangerous situation. Just look at Sproul Hall, Watkins and even UNLH: Quick and made for a singular purpose.

We are adults, and we should be treated like adults. These emergency drills distract us from being productive students all while forcing us to practice an exercise that we are well aware of how to do. We can conduct ourselves during an emergency properly without the added nuisance of a fire drill.

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